London mosque hosts preacher who said Zionists run UK schools

London mosque hosts preacher who said Zionists run UK schools
London mosque hosts preacher who said Zionists run UK schools

The Lewisham Islamic Center in London hosted an American preacher last month who said during his sermon that Zionists “run the schools and hospitals” in the UK and questioned the extent of Hamas’ violence on October 7.

According to a video on the mosque’s YouTube channel, Muslim convert Tom Facchine told the Lewisham congregation on 19 April: “We are happy with being doctors and yet we work for the Zionists who run the hospital system. When are we going to run our own hospital systems? We’re happy with being the headmaster or headmistress of a school, and yet we work for the Zionist who runs the school system. Who’s going to step up and make the school system for the Muslims?”

Facchine, who is the Research Director of Islam and Society at Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, was invited to speak at the mosque by head imam Shakeel Begg, who was found by a High Court judge in 2016 to be an “extremist preacher” for encouraging “religious violence”.

It was also found that his role as an imam put him in a position to “plant the seed of Islamic extremism in a young mind.”

Shakeel Begg, head imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre, was labeled an ‘extremist’ preacher by a High Court judge in 2016. (Youtube)

Begg has remained in his position as head imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre, although not without controversy.

In March, Begg was named by Communities Minister Michael Gove during the government’s latest counter-extremism crackdown and cited as an example of the necessity for an “updated and more precise definition of extremism.”

Begg said in a statement on Lewisham Islamic Centre’s website that promoting violence was “erroneously attributed to me by a judge who clearly lacked a meaningful understanding of Islam.”

His platforming of Facchine, who has been labeled a fundamentalist, has drawn criticism from Jewish groups.

Facchine said during his sermon at the mosque that while it was forbidden to kill civilians, some Muslim “soldiers” treated Israelis who were attacked in kibbutzes with “decency” and questioned whether there was “completely one side to blame” for the October 7 fatalities .

The Community Security Trust said: “It is absolutely appalling that Lewisham Mosque invited a speaker who had expressed unequivocal support for ‘the Palestinian resistance’ just days after the October 7 massacre. He then came out with conspiratorial nonsense about ‘Zionists’ running our hospitals and schools. The Charity Commission ought to investigate how he was given a platform.”

Facchine and the Lewisham Islamic Center have been contacted for comment.

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